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Blog: How to define your approach to Mobile Application Testing

08/07/16

Recent Gartner reports show that the use of mobile devices both for personal and business use continues to steadily increase whilst the use of traditional desktop and notebooks have been on a steady decline over recent years. Part of the drive for this is the use of Mobile applications, which is exploding across the world today. Mobile devices and applications continue to offer many opportunities for commercial and technical innovation. They create new ways to improve process efficiency and effectiveness inside the organisation and deliver innovative products, services and customer relationships outside it.

It is therefore sensible to assume that developing and testing those applications and services to ensure they work effectively across an ever increasing range of devices and platforms and engage with your target audience is of paramount importance.

Having an effective mobile test strategy is critical to ensuring your consumers have a positive experience when they use your mobile applications, as these apps get more complex by the day the need for testing them appropriately is key to success.

Capita IT professional services have compiled some key factors to consider when undertaking mobile application testing.

1. Make sure you research the market

When an app is released, it should flawlessly work on the most sold devices in the primary target market. Depending on the size of the target market the app should be tested on as many devices as possible, but at least 8 to 10 of the most commonly used devices. An app that works perfectly on a device that no one uses will not drive revenue.

2. Define your strategy

When implementing a successful mobile strategy, you have to decide on some of the following:

  • Do you purchase your own devices, use a public device cloud or turn to emerging solutions such as crowd testing? Each of these options has their own pro’s and con’s and should be assessed depending on your business needs and commercial drivers.
  • Which use cases should be tested manually and which ones are better undertaken with test automation for. Many test cases that you still test manually, can probably be automated, which can save you a lot of time.
  • What is your approach to automation and non-functional testing? There are a labyrinth of paid for and open source tools in the market, deciding which ones are right for your business and picking the right set of tools can save you time and money.
  • UI (User Interface) and UE (User Experience) testing are commonly overlooked but are absolutely key to successful mobile apps and services. The ability to get feedback from large and sometimes diverse groups of users can often be a challenging task.
  • How do you test security of devices and Apps? Top of the list of most business leaders concerns in 2016 is security. Proving devices and apps on your network are secure is of paramount importance and something that cannot be taken likely.


 3. Make sure your test processes are sound

  • Document your bugs



    To track your bugs efficiently, when you find one, make sure to keep track of all the information you have gained and the exact steps accomplished when you detected the malfunction. Only then, can you easily test that part again after a bug has been fixed, instead of trying tests again a number of times.

       

    Documenting bugs will not only help you keep track of the defects but it will also make them easier to reproduce. Bugs can then be shared with your developers as many times as necessary to understand where the problem lies, helping them to fix it and accelerating the whole process.



  • Keep your sessions short and prioritise cases



    Organising test cases is essential. You should keep test sessions as short as possible. If other tests come to mind, add them to your use case list, don’t test them instantly on the spot. When performing long sessions you may lose yourself in the app, make mistakes and invalidate the test. Therefore, organising your test cases by priorities is highly recommended: high, medium and low.

       

    If you test without a plan, you may forget to add steps to your test path plan and you won't be able to repeat them on another device.



  • Look for the precise characteristics



    Choose devices with different characteristics: try to have as many devices as possible, from hardware to software, from screen sizes to manufacturers. This is very important: users don’t always have the latest device or the latest software update.

       

    Screens have many different sizes and resolutions; you have to check that each device displays everything correctly. A number of manufacturers make changes in the User Interface (UI) and some functionalities, so make sure that your app is not affected by them. The hardware characteristics are crucial when testing an app, so consider adding more use cases if you notice that you're missing out on some elements.



  • You must repeat tests



    Perform the same tests on all devices you choose for your mobile manual testing. You'll see how easy it is to just follow the same steps all over again. It will minimize possibility of "human error". Remember to repeat the same tests after any code modification (something else might have got broken while fixing).

 

 

 

 

 

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